Former Gusher editor Keith Ridley (pictured) has left the industry after a career spanning almost 42 years.
As editor-in-chief for Johnston Press in East Sussex, Daventry born Keith had been responsible for the Herald and Gazette in Eastbourne, as well as the Hastings Observer series in Hastings, Bexhill, Rye and Battle, and the Sussex Express in Lewes, Newhaven, Seaford and Uckfield.
He stood down from the role last month, bringing to an end a 42-year career in local newspapers and media which began as a trainee on the Rugby Advertiser and saw him editing the Gusher at the age of 21, succeeding founder editor Walter Green.
He went back to Rugby to edit the Advertiser before moving to the south coast to join the daily Portsmouth News. He first ventured to Eastbourne in 2001 as managing director of TR Beckett, a subsidiary of Johnston Press, which owns around 300 titles across the country, including the Gusher.
Four years later he moved within the company to become managing director of Central Counties Newspapers, based in Aylesbury with responsibility for newspapers and websites across Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire – including the Rugby Advertiser and the Daventry Express.
When he went back to East Sussex six years ago, it was a return to his editorial roots.
He said: “My entire working life has been spent at the heart of local communities.
“It really has been a privilege and particularly so in East Sussex, which has such a fantastic community ethos. And my days at the Gusher were some of the happiest of my career. I have been tremendously lucky.”
Keith will continue to be involved with Johnston Press in East Sussex as a consultative editor and is also planning his own communications business.
He lives between Eastbourne and Brighton in a village called Friston with his wife, Amanda, a former Daventry dentist. They have twins sons, Max and Guy. Keith’s parents, Ken and Doreen, live in Elizabeth Road, Daventry.